I came across all these ideas set out below for people to put into place in their work environment. Such an improved place of work affects us all and we would all benefit in many ways, including our health.
It is all about creating an Ec0-Office so that you help people, the planet and the company's profit.
The benefits if you put together an Eco-Office
An Eco-Office can significantly reduce its costs through more efficient use of energy and materials such as electricity, paper and water.
Care for the environment:
An Eco-Office helps to ensure the long-term sustainability of the environment.
Building values for a sustainable future:
the involvement of the management and staff in creating an Eco-Office raises awareness among staff and the broader community.
More attractive workplace:
The safe, healthy and pleasant environment of an Eco-Office can promote improved job satisfaction and increased motivation.
An Eco-Office enhances the company’s compliance with environmental legislation
There are 4 important keywords to remember when creating an Eco-Office - rethink, reduce, re-use (recycle) and repair:
So you may well need to have a complete rethink -
think about creating and maintaining a safe, healthy, pleasant and efficient office environment.
To rethink, ask yourself these questions
- How do we limit risks from chemicals and radiation?
- Where can we find “greener” products and services?
- Which cleaning agents are odor-free, environmentally friendly and safe to use?
- How can we improve the general office environment?
- How do we make the best use of the space and natural light?
- What colors would be best?
- How can we promote strong supportive working relationships between colleagues?
- Which other environmentally concerned organisations can we work with?
- Who would be willing to closely monitor the work environment, and help promote a culture of environmental care and responsibility within your organisation?
A brain storming session with all the management and staff might be a good idea as a start to get things going!
Then you need to reduce and you can do this by
- Choosing monitors and equipment with low radiation emissions
- Working not less than 60 centimetres from computer monitors
- Taking rest breaks to minimize eye strain and stress
- Only print when it’s absolutely necessary
To re-use or recycle is fairly easy
- Before buying new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished (it may be less expensive than buying new and could be better for the environment)
- Use recycled print cartridges for the printer
- Recycle all paper and other waste
And then finally, repair
The same principles of rethink, reduce, recycle and repair can be applied to the use of all energy, water, paper and equipment in your office environment
- Keep all equipment in good repair as it gives staff fewer problems, saves time and causes less stress.
- An improved workplace and relationships, as well as diet and exercise, will enhance physical and mental health.
Here are 5 steps to an Eco-Office
Examine your current practices and identify how they can be improved from an environmentally point of view. Check how you comply with legislation requirements and how to make the office environment safer, healthier and more inspiring for employees.
Agree and adopt an Eco-Office policy. This is quite a commitment because you have to:
- Agree on Eco-Office objectives for the implementation of the policy
- Develop the Eco-Office objectives into a coherent plan of activities
- Identify and agree on specific responsibilities associated with each activity
- Agree on clear achievement targets and time frames for each activity
- Involve colleagues in developing the plan and seek the agreement of all staff - especially senior management.
And then there is more: involve colleagues in the development of the Eco-Office programme to ensure their support and ownership; discuss the benefits and disadvantages of proposed changes with everyone and let people know the simple ways in which they can contribute.
It is important to keep your colleagues informed about progress to ensure their continued interest and commitment
Implement your plan! Implement the simpler activities first. Make these a part of everyone’s daily routine as this makes them easier to accept and do. Once these are up and running, go on to the more complicated changes. Baby steps!
Monitoring and reviewing progress is essential to staying on track.
Remember that sustainable development requires integrated actions in order to change society and business practices. It requires people and organisations to be environmentally responsible in ways that contribute to economic and social sustainability - it takes a bit of determination and grit to keep on track!
Thank you to Enviropedia for the inspiration for this post.